Tuesday, June 23, 2020

30 Rock and Blackface


I support this, even if I don't completely understand it:
Four episodes of 30 Rock, including two featuring Jane Krakowski’s Jenna character in blackface, are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and have also been made unavailable for sale on purchase platforms such as iTunes and Google Play. The episodes, which will no longer air on traditional TV either, were pulled at the request of NBCUniversal executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A source tells Vulture the four episodes, some of which have already vanished, should be gone by the end of this week.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms that streamed or sold 30 Rock. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”

You have to adapt to the times in which we live. I totally get that. I watched every episode of 30 Rock and I loved the show. When these episodes aired, there was no intention of advancing any kind of racist agenda. It was intended to mock anyone who thought going out and performing in blackface was acceptable or reasonable. It was always the intention of the show to highlight just how awful the "Jenna" character was in terms of being self-centered and delusional.

There was little, if any, outcry when these episodes aired, but that's not the standard that should apply. Those sentiments should not hurt people, and so I can understand why they're being pulled. I don't think this should extend to any kind of condemnation for the people who made this because I just don't see how they weren't advancing a hateful agenda when they made these episodes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Danny Masterson



Daniel Masterson was charged on Wednesday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with raping three women.

The alleged separate incidents occurred between 2001 and 2003, according to authorities.

The That '70s Show star was charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The case was filed for warrant Tuesday, according to the district attorney's office. Masterson was arrested Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., according to jail records. His bond was set at $3.3 million. He bonded out at 2:44 p.m., according to jail records.

Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. The actor is alleged to have raped a 28-year-old woman in April 2003. And, sometime between October and December of 2003, according to authorities, the actor is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman who he had invited to his Hollywood Hills home.

The district attorney's office noted it declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other investigations, one due to insufficient evidence and the other based on the statute of limitations for the crime alleged.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Masterson's lawyer said his client was innocent.

“We’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify," Tom Mesereau said. “Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”

Los Angeles police began investigating Masterson over sexual-assault claims in 2017.

There shouldn't even be a statute of limitations for rape, let alone a delay of this many years in getting to the truth. Masterson could have raped countless women in the time it took to get us from 2001 to today.

There was a lawsuit filed in 2019 and Masterson was accused of raping incapacitated or drugged women as well as repeatedly raping and abusing a former girlfriend. What stands out in this particular incident is that Masterson has been accused of being helped in his defense by the Church of Scientology.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Why Does Daniel Radcliffe Have to Say This?


Why does Daniel Radcliffe have to ride to the rescue of J.K. Rowling?
Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the "Harry Potter" franchise, on Monday responded to franchise creator J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets about gender identity, directly addressing fans who may have felt pain reading the author's comments, which some labeled as transphobic.
Rowling, who has often come under fire by the large Potter fandom for her social media posts, sparked backlash over the weekend after mocking a headline about "people who menstruate."
"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," she tweeted on Saturday. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Shortly after, the author's name was trending on Twitter, with many accusing her of transphobia -- which she's been accused of before.
Rowling is a grown woman who has repeatedly taken shots at trans people.  She has some emotional need to share her distaste for trans people with a vast global audience. She's done this again and again, and it speaks to her state of mind that, when she does it, there is no real apology or acknowledgement of the pain she is causing others.

Radcliffe should not have to defend her or try to maintain the respectability of the Harry Potter franchise. It would probably be wiser for him to create some distance between himself and Rowling and do what he can behind the scenes to let her know that she needs to get help for her issues. Barring that, it's not his responsibility to cushion the blows that she rains down.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The French Dispatch


There are only a handful of films that I really wanted to see this year, and The French Dispatch is at the top of the list.
The message from the Cannes Film Festival is: Corona or not, the show must go on. The iconic French festival, which was as scheduled to run May 12-23 but was forced to cancel its physical event due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday unveiled its lineup for Cannes 2020, a selection of films that will carry the Cannes brand to screen at other events around the world.
The Cannes 2020 program includes many of the year's buzziest art house and indie titles — among them Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, Naomi Kawase's True Mothers, François Ozon's Summer of '85, ADN aka DNA, directed by, and starring French filmmaker Maïwenn (Polisse) and Thomas Vinterberg’s pro-drinking drama Another Round. (Scroll down for the full line-up).

Don't take this to mean that it is the only thing I wanted to see. I suppose there are a few others, we don't get a Wes Anderson movie like this one often enough.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just delaying the release of movies that are already made but it is also delaying the filming and production of movies that had been planned. And we all know how things fall apart--funding, whatever and what have you dries up when there is a delay. Add to that the struggles of everyone who works on films and you have a perfect storm for when we might have to settle for re-releases and encore presentations.